Néstor Girolami claims maiden WTCC pole to close in on World Championship lead for Polestar Cyan Racing

Néstor Giolami claimed an emotional maiden pole position for FIA WTCC Race of China at a very wet Ningbo International Speedpark, combined with a MAC3 victory that brings Polestar Cyan Racing to just two points from current leaders Honda.

“This is one of the highlights of my career, especially after all the bad luck I have had so far this year. The team has done an amazing job during the summer break and we have taken a huge leap forward with our pace, especially in the wet. I feel confident for the races tomorrow,” said Néstor Girolami.

Title contender Thed Björk was right on pace with team-mate Girolami, finishing third in Q3 and topping Q1, a result that has brought him to just nine points from the World Championship lead.

“This result is especially sweet after the problems we have had in the wet previously and I am so happy for Néstor, his pole was extremely well-deserved. I felt straight away from the first practice session that the pace was there and while I would have liked to take pole, this is a strong result that has brought me and the team vital points to the title fight,” said Thed Björk.

Nicky Catsburg showed strong form in practice but struggled in qualifying where he finished eighth, meaning third on the grid for the first race with the reversed grid.

“I am obviously not happy with the result and I am puzzled why we dropped pace from practice to qualifying. I am very happy for the team though and Néstor especially who did a great job to claim his first pole. We will work hard during the night to solve my issues ahead of the first race where I have a quite good grid position,” said Nicky Catsburg.

Polestar Cyan Racing claimed its sixth MAC3 victory over main rivals Honda, reducing the gap in the manufacturers’ championship to just two points.

”We have claimed a double with pole and MAC3 victory previously, but this is no doubt the best one as we won it in wet conditions that have proven to be hard for us in the past. Néstor was finally able to show what he really can deliver and we are all very happy for him. Things look very strong for tomorrow, but we need to continue working hard to consolidate our qualifying results in both races tomorrow,” said Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Head of Motorsport at Polestar.

Follow Polestar Cyan Racing in the FIA WTCC Race of China at: wtcc.polestar.com

WTCC Race of China
Circuit: Ningbo International Speedpark
Length: 4000 m
Lap record (WTCC): TBE

1 Néstor Girolami Volvo S60 1:58.049
2 Norbert Michelisz Honda Civic +0.320
3 Thed Björk Volvo S60 +0.487
4 Rob Huff Citroën C-Elysée +0.808
5 Gabriele Tarquini Honda Civic +2.991

Q2 – Top 5
1 Gabriele Tarquini Honda Civic 1:58.485
2 Néstor Girolami Volvo S60 +0.023
3 Norbert Michelisz Honda Civic +0.093
4 Thed Björk Volvo S60 +0.177
5 Rob Huff Citroën C-Elysée +0.209

8 Nicky Catsburg Volvo S60 +1.540

Q1 – Top 5
1 Thed Björk Volvo S60 1:58.243
2 Néstor Girolami Volvo S60 +0.352
3 Rob Huff Citroën C-Elysée +0.518
4 Norbert Michelisz Honda Civic +0.551
5 Gabriele Tarquini Honda Civic +0.612

9 Nicky Catsburg Volvo S60 +1.377

(Times in CEST)
Saturday 14/10
03:00 Free Practice 1 (45 min)
06:45 Free Practice 2 (45 min)
09:15 Qualifying
10:30 MAC3

Sunday 15/10
08:25 Race 1 (14 laps)
09:35 Race 2 (15 laps)

Championship Standings
Drivers’ – Top 5
1 Tiago Monteiro Honda Civic 200 pts
2 Thed Björk Volvo S60 191 (-9)
3 Norbert Michelisz Honda Civic 175 (-25)
4 Mehdi Bennani Citroën C-Elysée 164 (-36)
5 Nicky Catsburg Volvo S60 159 (-41)

9 Néstor Girolami Volvo S60 73 (-127)

1 Honda 588 pts
2 Volvo 586 (-2)

Compensation weights for China
Model – Time difference – Weight
Honda Civic – +0.0 sec – +80 kg
Volvo S60 Polestar – 0.1 sec – +70 kg
Citroën C-Elysée – +0.3 sec – +50 kg
Chevrolet Cruze – +1.0 sec – +0 kg
Lada Vesta – +1.6 sec – +0 kg

TV Schedule

2017 FIA World Touring Car Championship Entry List
No – Driver – Team – Car
3 – Tom Chilton – GBR – Sébastien Loeb Racing – Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
5 – Norbert Michelisz – HUN – Honda Racing Team JAS – Honda Civic WTCC
8 – Aurélien Panis – FRA – Zengő Motorsport – Honda Civic WTCC
9 – Tom Coronel – NED – ROAL Motorsport – Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1
12 – Rob Huff – GBR – Münnich Motorsport – Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
18 – Tiago Monteiro – POR – Honda Racing Team JAS – Honda Civic WTCC
22 – Manuel Fernandes – POR – RC Motorsport – Lada Vesta WTCC
24 – Kevin Gleason – USA – RC Motorsport – Lada Vesta WTCC
25 – Mehdi Bennani – MOR – Sébastien Loeb Racing – Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
27 – John Filippi – FRA – Sébastien Loeb Racing – Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
34 – Ryo Michigami – Honda Racing Team JAS – Honda Civic WTCC
61 – Néstor Girolami – ARG – Polestar Cyan Racing – Volvo S60 TC1
62 – Thed Björk – SWE – Polestar Cyan Racing – Volvo S60 TC1
63 – Nicky Catsburg – NED – Polestar Cyan Racing – Volvo S60 TC1
68 – Yann Ehrlacher – FRA – RC Motorsport – Lada Vesta WTCC
86 – Esteban Guerrieri – ARG – Campos Racing – Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1
99 – Daniel Nagy – HUN – Zengő Motorsport – Honda Civic WTCC
## – Gabriele Tarquini – ITA – Honda Racing Team JAS – Honda Civic WTCC

FIA World Touring Car Championship 2017 Calendar
WTCC Race of Morocco (Marrakech): 7-9 April
WTCC Race of Italy (Monza): 28-30 April
WTCC Race of Hungary (Hungaroring): 12-14 May
WTCC Race of Germany (Nürburgring Nordschleife): 25-27 May
WTCC Race of Portugal (Vila Real): 23-25 June
WTCC Race of Argentina (Termas de Río Hondo): 15-16 July
WTCC Race of China (Shanghai Ningbo Circuit): 13-15 October
WTCC Race of Japan (Twin Ring Motegi): 27-29 October
WTCC Race of Macau (Circuit de Guia): 17-19 November
WTCC Race of Qatar (Losail International Circuit): 30 November-1 December

Contact Details
Johan Meissner, Media Relations
+46(0)70 241 3234

About Polestar
Polestar is Volvo Car Group’s performance road car brand. From 2017, Polestar will become a new separately-branded electrified high-performance car company, offering a portfolio of bespoke Polestar cars. Polestar will enjoy specific technological and engineering synergies with Volvo Cars and benefit from significant economies of scale as a result of its connection to Volvo. These synergies will allow it to design, develop and build world beating electrified high performance cars.

Today, Polestar builds the S60 and V60 Polestar, 367hp performance road cars with over 250 developments over-and-above the standard Volvo products. It also offers Polestar Engineered performance hardware upgrades and engine software optimisations for existing Volvo products.

About Cyan Racing
Founded in 1996 and today known as Cyan Racing, the privately owned and operated company has been Volvo Car Group’s official team in motorsport since its conception. Cyan Racing has claimed multiple titles with the Volvo 850, S40, C30 and S60. Today, the company enjoys success on track with the Polestar road car brand as Polestar Cyan Racing in pursuit of both the World Touring Car Championship and Swedish GT, racing the Volvo S60 Polestar road going performance car.